The problem is osteolysis

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1995 Feb;(311):46-53.


Recent studies have generated considerable information that reveals substantial support for major change in the understanding of total hip arthroplasty and its current state. Although some of these observations appear unrelated at first glance, they can be drawn together to support the thesis that osteolysis is the dominant problem in total hip arthroplasty. These observations are as follows: (1) Five-year followup data are required for a minimum assessment of a new concept in total hip design and material because osteolysis is uncommon before that time. (2) Excellent fixation can be achieved on the femoral side with good cementing and good cementless techniques. Thus, femoral component loosening is less of an issue currently. (3) Many acetabular components become loose because of the ingress of particulate debris that leads to linear bone loss at the interface with the pelvis, a process that is biologically akin to the more florid forms of osteolysis. Thus, much acetabular component loosening represents a form of osteolysis. (4) Many cementless femoral reconstructions have developed a high incidence of femoral osteolysis. (5) Many cementless sockets have developed a high incidence of pelvic osteolysis. Taken in conjunction, these observations suggest that periprosthetic osteolysis is the leading problem in contemporary total hip replacement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Osteolysis / etiology*
  • Prosthesis Failure